I was in downtown Syracuse yesterday with a WW II veteran I'd brought to the VA Hospital for an appointment and then to a late lunch in Armory Square. As we sat in the car preparing to leave, I spotted a bedraggled looking older man searching aggressively through a couple of trash cans and assumed that he was "canning." As we watched him, however, I noticed that he wasn't removing cans, he was removing discarded pizza slices and other left over food. He collected a small plastic grocery bag of items and as he walked away, I called him to the car and offered him a $ 5.00 bill. He smiled one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen and said "Thank you! I can get a cup of coffee with that."
I wish that I could have done more. I've posted this story to encourage people not to let that feeling prevent you from doing what you can, right here and right now. As I looked into my rear view mirror, he was on his way to an area coffee shop. It means so much to people with few options to be able to go into a place and order something to eat or drink that they can choose for themselves.
Image Source: Google Images